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Get Comfortable With Bundles

By Philip Betbeze  
   March 22, 2016

As director for bundled rates contracting, she's responsible for price development, contracting, and operations. Glen Burnie, Maryland-based JHHC manages medical care contracts with organizations, government programs, and healthcare providers for more than 250,000 plan members and is owned jointly by Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Health System and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Before 2011, most of the bundling at Johns Hopkins was on bone marrow and solid organ transplants—strictly academic medical center-type, super-specialized stuff. Although Johns Hopkins still has bundling programs at one of its two academic medical center locations, much changed when PepsiCo and Johns Hopkins' struck the health system's first direct employer bundling agreement, also at first focused only on orthopedics.

"We had a short screening process that focused on quality, cost, and patient satisfaction," says Frick-Hoff. "When we passed the first test, we then had to submit more detailed data: pricing information and proposed bundled rates. We had a site visit, developed contracts, process flows, and what the deliverables were."

That grew eventually to become Johns Hopkins' high-volume travel surgery program. Other top customers that have signed on include the Pacific Business Group on Health, Lowe's, McKesson, and Walmart. With those programs and some specialized bundles with commercial payers, Johns Hopkins now offers commercial bundles on bone marrow transplants, solid organ transplants, joint replacements, and cardio. These are prospective bundles, as opposed to retrospective ones, as in the CMS mandatory program.

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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